When you have rent, utilities and other bills, you might take any job that comes your way. While ‘any’ job provides a paycheck, however, it might not be satisfying or rewarding.
Some people have given up on the idea of finding their ideal job, thinking it doesn’t even exist. But there’s a job that’s just for everyone. So if you’re tired of hopping from job to job, here are 14 steps to finding the right for you.
See also: 5 Signs You’re In a Dead End Job
1. Know What You're Looking For
Before you can begin the search for an ideal job, you have to know what you’re looking for. Based on your skills, experience, education and desired salary, make a list of jobs you’re qualified for. Also, research different jobs you can get with your particular degree — you might qualify for more jobs than you think. For example, a person with an English degree can do more than teach English or become a writer. They also qualify for positions in human resources or public relations.
2. Don't Quit Your Present Job
If you have minimum expenses and enough money in your savings account, you might quit your present job before finding a new one. Quitting your job definitely makes it easier to schedule job interviews, and you can spend more time searching for a job. However, it might be easier to find a job when you already have one. This is because some employers discriminate against jobless candidates — viewing them as less qualified than working applicants. This isn’t right or fair, but it happens. So, while your present job might be a nightmare, don’t quit it until you have something else lined up.
3. Target Your Ideal Companies
Once you know what you want to do, make a list of companies that hire people with your skills and qualifications. After you create this list, visit each company’s career page. You might stumble upon opportunities that aren’t listed in the newspaper or on job boards. If you find the name of the hiring manager, you can email your résumé and express your desire to work with the company.
4. Keep Up with the Industry
Make sure you stay up-to-date in your industry. Jobs are constantly changing and evolving, and getting your ideal job might require taking a class and acquiring new skills.
5. Reach Out to Your Social Network
If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, post a status update and let your network know you’re looking for work in a particular field. Ask them to send an inbox message if they hear or read about any openings in this field. Also, ask your network to share your status update with their network. This increases the odds of your message reaching the right person.
6. Stop Writing Your Own Résumé
Résumé writing might seem simple, but it’s really an art. It isn’t enough to highlight your skills and experience; résumés need to be specific to the position you’re applying for and should include action-oriented tasks. If your résumé is boring and doesn’t stand out, employers will quickly lose interest. If you don’t have the skills to create an amazing résumé, hire a résumé writer.
7. Go to Your Alumni's Career Fair
Spending an afternoon at a career fair might feel like a waste of time. However, many local companies are present at career fairs, and this is the perfect opportunity to get your résumé in an employer’s hands. Even if you’re not sure whether a company can use your skills, speak with the representative and let them know the types of jobs you’re looking for. You never know, the company might have a position perfect for you. Dress professionally, bring a stack of résumés with you, and be prepared for on-the-spot interviews.
8. Make it Easier for Employers to Find You
Searching for your ideal job can be exhausting, but with a LinkedIn profile, employers might find you. In the two years since I’ve created a LinkedIn profile, I’ve been offered a few writing jobs by companies who found my profile. If you haven’t already, create your free online profile and upload a professional image. And if you already have a profile, freshen it up with more details, and specifically mention the types of jobs you’re interested in. Build your network by connecting with employers and business owners in your industry.
9. Prep Your References
Just about every employer will check references before hiring a job applicant. If possible, choose professional and character references who can confirm you possess the skills for a specific position. Notify references before listing them on a job application so that they’re not caught off guard when a potential employer contacts them.
10. Be Proactive
Since employers receive a flood of résumés, some can fall through the cracks. If you’re committed to finding your ideal job, you have to step outside your comfort zone and show some initiative. If you email your résumé or complete an online application, follow up after three or four days to make sure the hiring manager received your information. This keeps your name fresh in the employer’s mind which helps you stand out, especially if none of the other applicants confirmed receipt of their applications.
11. Find Work Through a Recruiter
It might come as a surprise, but some employers don’t accept applications or résumés directly from applicants. Instead, they use recruiters or employment agencies. So, if you search the newspaper and online job boards but can’t find anything matching your skill set, contact a local recruiter. The company might know of opportunities that will be perfect for you.
12. Nail Your Interview
Even if it’s your dream job and you’re committed to giving the employer 110 percent, you won’t receive a job offer unless you nail the interview. There’s no way to predict which questions an employer will ask. To make sure you’re fully prepared, research commonly asked interview questions for a particular job, and prepare responses that focus on how you can help the company. You’ll also need to research the company, which shows an interest in the employer. Also, bring your own questions.
13. Always Be Ready to Sell Yourself
You never know who you might meet. A company owner or manager might overhear you telling someone you’re looking for work in a particular field, and approach you about a possible opportunity. You have approximately two minutes to make a good impression and keep his interest. You don’t have to provide your entire work history — there’ll be plenty of time for this later. But you can quickly mention your number of years’ experience, a brief statement on why you’re qualified (one or two sentences), and then ask to set up a time to discuss the opportunity further.
14. Create Your Ideal Position
If you’re thinking about leaving your current job to pursue your passion, speak with your employer before jumping ship. Depending on the size of the company and its needs, your employer might be able to create a new position for you. This might seem like a long-shot, but it can work. For example, if you’re currently working in office administration, but you prefer a job developing web content and managing a company’s social media, discuss your plans with your employer and ask whether the company can create a position for you. Be ready to sell why they need this service, and have a salary range in mind.
There’s a job that’s just right for you, but you have to look for it. The competition is tough, but if you don’t give up and believe in yourself, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.